I have worked with Bernese Mountain Dogs for 11 years, and JR was my 21st birthday gift about six years ago. I got him when he was six months old and knew his mom, dad, and grandma. His dad was a very special boy to me too, and we lost him the day JR was conceived. JR was the only boy of a litter of three (hence his name, JR, short for “Junior”.
He was a big boy, loved people, and especially loved food. My dad used to have him on a “snack” schedule everyday. At every meal, you could find him sitting next to my dad at the table waiting for anything my dad would give him.
I had big plans for him. I was training him in rally and obedience, and even bought a drafting cart for him. He had a typical berner boy brain, so he wasn’t the brightest, but he was still smart in my eyes!
Then one day he stopped eating. After a couple days I took him to the vet and we tried putting him on a different food, thinking he just was getting bored with his normal food. After of few days of eating that food, he stopped again. I took him back to the vet and they did blood tests. I will never forget the vet telling me “this boy is very sick”. They diagnosed him with IMHA and the following days were the scariest of my life. He was on different medications, that were getting harder and harder to give him because he didn’t want to eat anything. He had to have three blood transfusions and after two weeks I made the hard decision to let him go; the medications just weren’t working to keep his immune system in check. It wasn’t until after he was gone that we found out he probably had hemangiosarcoma. He passed away surrounded by me, and his human grandparents (my parents).
I loved him with all of my heart and still to the day continue to miss him. It’s been four years since I had to say goodbye and it still hurts. It is comforting to know we stopped his suffering, and now he’s playing with all his berner friends. I can’t wait to see him again one day!!